Baseball fans, I’ve been tasked with writing about the Los Angeles Dodgers going back to the World Series after a nearly three-decade absence and What It All Means to lifelong fans such as myself, so I’m going to give it my best shot.
I’m not going to lie. It’s difficult to be objective here. My history with this team has been well-documented. After they clinched the NL pennant in Chicago last week, I received Facebook messages from people I haven’t spoken to since high school. I heard from more friends via text than I do on my birthday. Even my Nana, who refers to iPhones as alien misery machines (she’s right!), snail-mailed me the newspaper clipping that says the Dodgers are headed to the World Series for the first time in 29 years, just in case I missed it. People are excited for the team and, most important, they’re excited for me!
But, oh boy, are these Dodgers awkward as hell. This is not a situation like the 2004 Red Sox or the 2016 Cubs. America has not been waiting for This Moment, Brought To You By Camping World. I will not take Nana’s newspaper to my grandfather’s grave if they win it all, because the man had season tickets during the ’50s and ’60s when the Dodgers won three times in seven seasons. (He was also the dude who would scour my report card for the one A– and ask where it all went wrong.) I tell you this because his spirit would probably (correctly!) side-eye me from the grave for allowing my mental and emotional health to be held hostage by a stupid baseball team that has made the National League Championship Series five times in the last decade, only to advance to the World Series just this once!
The Dodgers make the playoffs almost every year, so nobody feels sorry for them. But they fall apart when it matters most and serve their long-suffering fanbase Dodger Dogs laced with tiny shards of glass every October. Blessed with baseball’s highest payroll and the best pitcher on the planet, they are world champions at underachieving. They are baseball’s Atlanta Falcons, except that playoff baseball is like watching your favorite Olympic gymnast spin and flip and shimmy along a balance beam for four hours straight while you wear the same dumb T-shirt you wore the last time she did not fall flat on her face, as if your ratty clothing choice had any impact whatsoever on the outcome.
Anyway, Houston, here I come! Yes!